Immortalized by Don McLean in the classic song, American Pie - February 3rd 1959
was; “The Day The Music Died.”
A small private plane took off from an airstrip in Clear Lake, Iowa on a bitterly
cold and snowy winter night, and never made it to its intended destination of Fargo,
North Dakota. The plane crashed claiming the lives of three of Rock and Roll’s most
promising young talents, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson,
along with the pilot.
Buddy Holly had shot to fame in 1957 with a number one hit, That'll Be The Day, followed
by Peggy Sue. History has proved that his career was to be as influential as it was
tragically short. He was visiting 24 different cities in as many days, headlining,
"The Winter Dance Party Tour". Also billed were Ritchie Valens, (probably one the
hottest of the artists at the time with a hit double A-side record featuring Donna/La
Bamba), plus Dion and the Belmonts, and The Big Bopper filling out the list of performers.
Also along were back up musicians a little known Waylon Jennings and Tommy Allsup,
and a new novelty warm up act (not listed on the billing) featuring a singing and
guitar playing Hippo.